“On your actual brink”

Standard

batteryI don’t know why, but I love the line: “So here we are, on your actual brink,” from the movie 2010: The Year We Make Contact.  In 2010, NSA Chairman Victor Milson was talking about the imminent threat of World War III; but I think of those words whenever I read a new article about something new we’ve discovered or developed about battery technology, energy storage and solar photovoltaic improvements.

You may not realize how close we are to a paradigm shift in energy collection, storage and distribution. Continue reading

Advertisements

Could the moon fuel Earth for 10,000 years?

Standard

mining Helium 3 from the MoonThis is the bold title of a Daily Mail article, in which the Chief Scientist of China’s Lunar Exploration Program, Professor Ouyang Ziyuan, describes an audacious plan to return to the Moon that will provide a direct benefit to Earth.

Lunar samples brought back by Apollo astronauts indicated a significant amount of Helium 3, a non-radioactive form of helium that scientists say could fuel clean fusion power plants.  Ouyang proposed a plan to place a mining facility on the Moon to extract helium 3 from the rock; then fly the helium to Earth in storage tanks and use it to provide power for the world, much as the movie Moon depicted the process.  He estimates that 40 tonnes of helium, when used in clean fusion plants, could power the United States for a year at the current rate of energy consumption.

Sounds great, right?

Oh, wait… “clean fusion plants”? Continue reading

Audi’s E-bike concept: We should all want this

Standard

audi e-bike conceptAudi’s beautiful e-bike concept may be what the future of bicycling—and, indeed, most non-highway single person transportation—ought to be aspiring to: It gets people out of cars they don’t need to be pushing and buying so much gas for; it’s great for city and suburban use; it has built-in safety features; it still allows the rider to pedal if desired; but it also offers an electric motor that will take you at close to car-speeds wherever you need to go.

Take a good look at the bike (ignore the seat, for now) and you’ll see what I mean. Continue reading

Excerpt from Chasing the Light: A serious and romantic look at our near future

Standard

Chasing the Light, by Steven Lyle JordanPlease enjoy an excerpt from Chasing the Light, a novel of the near future.

Chasing the Light is a “boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy returns to find girl and make his fortune” story, set in the United States of a very realistic near-tomorrow.  The young lovers, Tom Everson and Doña Navarra, are forced apart due to circumstances beyond their control, and Tom risks everything to be reunited with Doña.

In fact, the story could be said to begin any day now, as it is kicked off by violent events caused by the energy crisis and the oil industry’s contentious activities to dominate the energy landscape.  Continue reading

The hybrid and electric future is still “almost here”

Standard

Thanks to an accident last fall, my 2000 Hyundai Tiburon is probably not going to last until 2015 as originally planned.  So, I’ve started looking for the car to replace it… and at the moment, that car is the Toyota Prius C. Continue reading

Vacationing efficiently

Standard

A recent long-weekend vacation, taken by me and my wife, saw me driving from my home north of Washington, DC, to Atlanta, Ga, then to Nags Head, NC, and back home.  We drove for a few reasons: One, I am increasingly un-enamored with plane flight (the cost, the hassle, the security, the discomfort); Two, we weren’t sure of our return stopover; and Three, we weren’t sure of our schedule (we were afraid of being called midway through vaca by the vet, to tell us our 18-year-old cat was about to die in their boarding care, and the vaca would be cut short).

Anyway, the trip went as scheduled, everyone had a great time, and even the cat survived without an episode.  But the trip found me thinking about my transportation choice: Environmentally speaking, was it better for me to drive that trip… or, if I could’ve arranged it, should we have flown? Continue reading

Foreign automakers already have what America needs

Standard

While the EPA knocks out a new CAFE standard of just under 55MPG by 2025 (which the U.S. automakers can still weasel out of as they have in the past), BMW reveals two new electric concepts, the i3 and the i8.

Continue reading